FIELD MEETING: THINKING PRACTICE

Chia-En Jao (Taipei)

A Lens into the Lives and Dreams of Immigrant Workers:

> Watch Video Recording of Jao’s conversation with Xyza Cruz Bacani and Xiaoyu Weng

Echoing themes in Guggenheim’s exhibition Tales of Our Time, curator Xiaoyu Weng considers two distinct practices that illuminate the often-overshadowed stories of South East Asian immigrant workers in a conversation with Hong Kong-based Filipina street photographer Xyza Cruz Bacani and Taipei based artist Chia-En Jao. Far from objectified and sensationalized popular-media portrayals, Bacani’s photojournalistic approach documents the workers’ everyday reality, while Jao invites them to retell the dreams they had while asleep in front of the video camera; Each weaving subjective experiences that lie between fiction and reality into the larger social fabric.

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FIELD MEETING’s panel, A Lens into the Lives and Dreams of Immigrant Workers: In Conversation with Xyza Cruz Bacani, Chia-En Jao and Xiaoyu Weng, was supported by the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum & The Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation Chinese Art Initiative

In Conversation with Xyza Cruz Bacani, Chia-En Jao and Xiaoyu Weng. Lecture Performance documentation FIELD MEETING: Thinking Practice, November 11th at Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum. Photo: Renata Carciofolo.
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Chia-En Jao’s project-based practice stretches across different mediums, including drawing, performance, site-specific installation, and multichannel video installation. After studying, working, and exhibiting in Europe, Jao returned to Taipei where he currently lives and works. This international experience informs his perspective on the particular conditions of Taiwan’s political, economical, and social situation. His practice—deeply rooted in his local surroundings—has more recently delved into colonial histories and the cross-cultural tensions in the Asia Pacific region. His anthropological and collaborative approach has led him to work with civilian protestors, taxi drivers, and immigrant workers from Southeast Asian countries. For Jao, these personal encounters have generated intriguing and valuable interpretations of history that subtly subvert and question the established, official versions produced by the nation-state and media. Recent exhibitions include, A Voyage to South, Kaohsiung Museum of Fine Arts, Taiwan (2015), Arms, Art Basel Hong Kong (2014), The Pioneers of Taiwanese Artists, 1971-1980, National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts (2014), What We See, National Museum of Art, Osaka (2013), The 7th Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art, QAGOMA, Brisbane (2012), Shanghai Biennale 2012, MOCA Shanghai (2012), Taipei Biennal, Taipei Fine Arts Museum (2012).

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